Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sunday Dinner: Stuffed Meatloaf

Sometimes food ideas hit me and make me wanna run to the kitchen and set to work. Lately, I have had a number of bright ideas rattling around in my head, but with the garden planting and the canning, I haven’t been able to put my thoughts into actions.

Come to find out, some of my bright ideas aren’t mine at all. First I thought of a stuffed meatloaf. I’m thinking ricotta, spinach, herbs, sundried tomatoes. I’m also thinking it has never been done before. Silly me. Just because it isn’t in one of my 100 cookbooks, or that I haven’t seen it on the Food Network, or read it in a food blog doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done. Brilliant Daughter informed me that Guy Fieri does a cornbread-stuffed meatloaf. My bubble deflated rapidly.

Since I still wanted to try my hand at a stuffed meatloaf, I figured I would give Guy’s recipe a go first. Then I could modify it to be more what I had in mind to begin with. So for Sunday dinner I served up the gigantic oversized 20-pound loaf, along with baked potatoes/sour cream/fresh bacon bits, and our own green beans cooked with onion and garlic and some of my newly canned herbed tomato sauce. It was a hit. In fact, it continues to be a hit 3 days later, as we whittle it down by making meatloaf sandwiches every day!

Honestly, the recipe does make one large meatloaf (more line 4 pounds, not 20). Probably enough to feed at least 8-10 people generously. It consists of 2 pounds of ground meat, 1 pound of ground pork, plus the stuffing. Costwise, this probably isn’t the cheapest thing to make once all is said and done. It probably cost me close to $15. And it is rather time consuming, because you have to make the cornbread, then once it is baked you have to break it up and toast the crumbs. So it takes about an hour of prep, plus an hour and a half to cook. But it is not a difficult recipe by any means and the result was very tasty, so I did want to share.
TIP: Place stale bread or the heels of a loaf under your meatloaf to soak up the excess dripping. That way the meatloaf isn’t swimming around in unhealthy fat. Once you serve the meatloaf, the leftover bread (plus any bits stuck to it) are a real treat for the canine members of your family.

Guy Fieri’s Cornbread-Stuffed Meatloaf

* 2 large or 5 small corn muffins (2 to 3 cups), crumbled by hand
* 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
* 1 red bell pepper, diced
* 1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeno
* 2 tablespoons minced garlic
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
* Salt and pepper
* 1 egg, beaten

For the stuffing: Preheat oven to 275 to 300 degrees F. Spread the cornbread crumbs on a sheet pan and let toast for about 20 minutes, or until lightly toasted and dry. Turn oven up to 350 degrees F. In a skillet brown the bacon until crispy. Drain. To the same skillet add the red pepper, jalapeno, and garlic and cook until soft. In a bowl, combine the cornbread crumbs, bacon, and vegetable mixture. Add parsley and salt and pepper, to taste. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.


* 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
* 1 cup diced red onion
* 1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeno
* 2 tablespoons minced garlic
* 2 pounds ground beef
* 1 pound ground pork
* 2 teaspoons sea salt
* 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
* 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
* 1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
* 1 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/4 cup ketchup
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 2 eggs
* 6 ounces sliced Cheddar

In medium skillet over medium heat add oil, red onions, jalapeno and garlic. Cook until caramelized, remove from heat and let cool.

In a bowl combine the meat, salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, mustard, ketchup Worcestershire, and eggs and thoroughly mix. Divide the meat mixture in half. Shape 1 half into a rectangle, creating a canoe, and then loosely fill with stuffing. Do not pack it in. Use the other half of the meat to fully enclose the stuffing. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Layer the cheese slices on top and bake for another 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes. Cut into thick slices and serve.

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